Harold Castiaux, Columbia University
Harold Castiaux, a senior from Brussels, Belgium, is undefeated in the season thus far with wins over University of Virginia, St. Lawrence University, and Drexel University. Castiaux’s match against Virginia secured him the spotlight as CSA Men’s Player of the Month. “Harold had a marathon of a match. Played very disciplined and stayed the course of the big rallies” Assistant Men’s and Women’s Coach, Chris Fernandez, comments. Playing at #1, the match, lasting over an hour, clinched the win for the Lions. At the time of the match, this pushed No. 8 Columbia past No. 7 Virginia in the rankings.
In contested matches like Virginia, Fernandez is proud to see Harold remain a “leader on and off the court” by demonstrating “fair play and sportsmanship”.
Castiaux has found success throughout his college squash career. He has improved his game drastically as well as his leadership skills. Castiaux, captain of the Columbia men’s team, has a passion for the game and dedication to his teammates that sets him apart as a leader and player.
Castiaux is “constantly leading by example, one of the first ones to team activities, constantly checking in with his teammates and most importantly constantly providing feedback to the coaching staff on areas of improvement for the teams. Harold goes the extra mile as a captain” Fernandez shares.
Nili Sprecher, University of Virginia
Nili Sprecher, a first year from Rye Brook, New York, holds a 6-2 record in the season thus far with wins over Georgetown University, Yale University, Columbia University, Franklin and Marshall College, Drexel University and Dartmouth College. Sprecher’s match against Yale highlighted her calm and calculated squash showing composure and maturity in very high pressure situations.
Against Yale, she delivered the sort of performance that Virginia will be talking about for years to come. With the match knotted at 4-4, Sprecher took the court with perfect poise, playing with confidence and skill to convert the win for UVA – their first victory over the Yale women in program history.
Sprecher began her squash career at about four years old and quickly moved into Junior squash where she found success in competitive play. Mark Allen, Head Men’s and Women’s Squash Coach, admires Sprecher’s “great deal of power with her solid technique and impeccable timing. Her straight lines run consistently parallel, and she has touch too”.
It isn’t just her skill that named her CSA Women’s Player of the Month, but Sprecher shows impeccable behavior on the court and lets her squash do the talking. “She’s only a first year, but already leads by example in this regard” Allen comments.
Allen is excited to bring Sprecher to Virginia’s roster, “she works hard at practice, brings a positive attitude and is a very coachable athlete, always receptive to the help and advice she is being given. In just three short months, Nili has already demonstrated that she’s going to be a key player – for this year and the three that follow”.